Shop Healthy! Tips & Tricks to Help Develop Nutritional Shopping Habits

How do you shop for groceries? Do you just walk down the aisles of the store looking for discounts and attractive packaging?

confused man shopping for groceriesIf that’s your current strategy, you could seriously be putting yourself at risk of gaining weight.

Healthy eating starts with healthy shopping.

Shopping for nutritional food requires a conscious effort.

Marketing practices target unprepared, hungry, and emotionally challenged shoppers.

It’s important to go to the store with a battle plan, especially if you’re new to weight loss.

Be Prepared

Have you ever let a bag of baby spinach go to waste? Have you ever bought a gallon of milk, just to get home to see a full gallon already in the fridge?

Healthy Shopping Habit #1 – Make a list

man writing down grocery listEveryone knows how beneficial making a list is. All it takes is a few mistakes and you start realizing how money you’re wasting.

Making a list not just important for saving money, but it also works great for creating a healthy diet. If you have a good list, you won’t be as tempted by discounts and attractive displays. Make a list of nutritional foods, and stick to it.

Before making a list of the items you need to purchase, take a quick inventory of things you have.

Sit down with a healthy recipe book and jot down the items you’re going to cook or prepare that week. Use the planned dishes to outline your list, detailing the items you’ll need under the dish name. List things you know you enjoy eating, but fit into your health goals.

Rearrange the list the best you can for the store you’re shopping in. List the produce, meat, dairy, and dry goods in separate sections to easily manage inside the store.

Healthy Shopping Habit #2 – Take a picture of your fridge and pantry

Having a visual of your fridge and pantry will drastically help when you’re in the store. Lists help, but they’re only as good as you make them. Taking a picture with your phone takes two seconds, and it allows you to deviate from the list if needed.

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At the Store

produce aisle at the grocery store Prioritize produce over all other foods. Preferable, your list should include meals that were designed around the vegetables, as opposed to the main course. Choose 3-4 vegetables for each meal, then choose a meat that supplements that meal.

Healthy Shopping Habit #3 – Stick to the list

Steer clear of “bad-choice” aisles. Cookies, soda, juice, and chips should be avoided at all costs. Don't even go down the aisles.

Healthy Shopping Habit #4 – Deviate from the list

Try a new fruit or vegetable every week. Choose something you haven’t tried before and implement it into one of your preplanned meals. You’re very likely to find something you enjoy eating, but never heard of before.

Shop at Multiple Stores

man buying vegetables at the marketIf your grocer was out of avocado, don’t just skip them, go to the next store. If you don’t properly plan your meals, you stand the chance messing up and eating junk food. Make sure you have everything you need for that week before going home.

It’s a great idea to visit your local farmer’s market too. Markets contain the freshest meat and produce around, and they’re more likely to be organic and contain a higher amount of nutrients.

Healthy Shopping Habit #5 – The Perfect Cart

balanced plate eating healthy on the roadWhen finished shopping, your grocery cart should contain approximately 50% fruits and vegetables, 25% meat, and 25% carbohydrates.

The idea is to develop meals with the same ratio. Obviously your cart will differ every time, but as a general rule try to maintain the perfect plate ratio. This helps to control your calorie intake by filling up with low calorie, high nutrient foods.

Grow Your Own Vegetables

planting vegetablesHealthy Shopping Habit #6 – Start a garden

Growing vegetables at home is an amazing way to cut costs, reduce waste, and supplement your diet with nutrient dense foods. It's never been easier to grow delicious and nutritious food in your own backyard.

Herbs, tomatoes, and leafy greens can be grown in small pots or raised beds in a small amount of space. There's tons of advice on the internet, so give your green thumb a try! You'll probably find that you're more likely to eat something healthy if you grew it yourself. Who knows, you may even find a new hobby.

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A small note about research cited in this article:
*Always remember: weight loss results & health changes/improvements vary from individual to individual. Just because these studies cite certain data does not mean you will experience these results/outcomes. Always consult with your doctor before making decisions about your health. This is not medical advice – simply well-researched information and tips to sleep better. Thanks for reading!
P.S. If you found this guide valuable, please share it with your friends and family who will benefit too.